Oscar-winning actress and Dame Judi Dench is voicing her opinion on the forthcoming season of Netflix’s critically acclaimed series The Crown, based on the British royal family.
In an open letter she wrote to the U.K. publication The Times, the actress accused the show of “crude sensationalism” and said the upcoming season will “present an inaccurate and hurtful account of history.” She even pressed the streamer to add a disclaimer to the show.
The Crown follows the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, who breathed her last in September at the age of 96, having served 70 years on the throne.
In the upcoming fifth season, the queen approaches the 40th anniversary of her ascension to the throne amid troubling years for the Royal Family in the 1990s.
“The closer the drama comes to our present times, the more freely art seems willing to blur the lines between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism,” Dench wrote in her letter published Thursday in the U.K. with the headline “The Crown is crude and cruel, says Dame Judi Dench.”
“I fear that a significant number of viewers, particularly overseas, may take (The Crown‘s) version of history as being wholly true,” she wrote.
“The time has come for Netflix to reconsider—For the sake of a family and a nation so recently bereaved, as a mark of respect to a sovereign who served her people so dutifully for 70 years, and to preserve its reputation in the eyes of its British subscribers,” she concluded her letter.
“The Crown has always been presented as a drama based on historical events,” responded a Netflix spokesperson. “Series five is a fictional dramatisation, imagining what could have happened behind closed doors during a significant decade for the Royal Family – one that has already been scrutinised and well-documented by journalists, biographers, and historians.”
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